Zero GST Warehouse Scheme

As per this scheme, GST charges on import of overseas commodities which are non-dutiable will be suspended when commodities are transported into a Zero GST warehouse. GST charges will be levied only when the commodities which were imported are taken off from the warehouse and moved into a domestic market. The Singapore Customs administers this scheme.

When you run a Zero GST warehouse as per this scheme, you’ll be allowed to import overseas commodities which are non-dutiable into a Zero GST warehouse and your GST charges will be suspended.

What is a Zero GST Warehouse?

An area which is meant for storing overseas commodities. This designated area will have approval from the Singapore Customs. It can be the complete site, a specific section of the property, a tank meant for storage, or any other location which is approved for storage.

What You Should do When You Import Commodities Into a Zero GST Warehouse

According to this scheme, you should make a declaration with respect to commodities that were imported into a Zero GST warehouse in spite of GST suspension. You must report the worth of commodities that were imported by filling Box 5 in your GST return (Complete worth of purchases which are taxable).

What You Should do When You Move/Supply Commodities From a Zero GST Warehouse

  • When commodities are moved into a territory that belongs to Customs, you will be liable to pay GST charges to the Singapore Customs.
    • You must report the worth of commodities which were removed. You’ll be permitted to make a GST claim on imports done, provided conditions in relation to input tax claims are met. Your declaration must include the following details:
      • Box 5 (entire worth of purchases which are taxable) – Make a declaration about the value of commodities which were taken off the ZG warehouse.
      • Box 7 (refund and input tax claimed) – Make an import GST declaration you intend to claim.
    • In case you’re under the Approved Third Party Logistics (3PL) Company Scheme or the Major Exporter Scheme (MES), the worth of commodities moved must be declared:
      • In Box 5 (overall value of purchases which fall under the taxable category).
      • In Box 9 (entire value of commodities which are imported under Approved Third Party Logistics Company Scheme/MES/any other Approved Scheme).

Since GST has been suspended on removal, you’re not allowed to make an input tax claim.

  • When commodities are removed and moved to another Zero GST warehouse, you need not pay GST charges to the Singapore Customs.
  • When commodities are taken off for export purposes, the supply will be considered as zero-rated if you’ve retained the necessary export evidence. You should make a declaration for the export you’ve initiated through Box 2 (complete value of supplies which are zero-rated) of your GST return.
  • When supply of goods is within a Zero GST warehouse, you need not levy GST charges since such supply will fall under the “out of scope” category. Also, these kind of supplies need not be reported in your return for GST.

Steps You Need to Complete In Order to Apply for This Scheme

  • You will need to finish the TradeFIRST Self-Assessment Checklist via the official website of Singapore Customs.
  • Get ready with the following supporting documents:
    • Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority BizFile Report.
    • Financial statements (audited) for the previous 3 years.
    • A layout plan copy. You will need to specify the planned entry and exit points, licensed premises, & security features like alarm systems & closed-circuit TVs in the layout outline. The plan should display the address which is affixed via a company stamp.
    • Tenancy agreement or title deed.
    • Other required documents.

Apply via the online portal (Singapore Customs website). Singapore Customs has the authority to levy an insurance bond or Banker’s Guarantee, if necessary. Once your application is submitted successfully, Singapore Customs will follow up with you regarding your application.

Qualifying Criteria for This Scheme

In order to be eligible for this scheme, your company needs to comply with the following conditions:

  • Should have registered for GST with the IRAS.
  • Should hold an active Customs Account.
  • The compliance records of your company with IRAS and the Singapore Customs has to be good.
  • Should have good procedures to maintain the warehouse and the stock record accurately.
  • Should be accountable for the security of commodities and also be in charge of controlling the goods too.
  • Should take the TradeFIRST assessment & reach the least band in order to be eligible for the concerned Zero GST warehouse licence type you intend to get.
  • Should make sure that the premises which is yet to receive its license is a facility meant for storage with necessary security measures in position by which:
    • The premises is mainly utilised for commodity warehousing.
    • The leaseholder/tenant is legally authorised and has control over the location, inclusive of possessing a tenancy agreement with a landlord, & the authority to change or install any plans or features at the premises as per the requirements of Singapore Customs.

Effective 1 January 2018, with an aim to bring down risks related to money laundering & terrorism, a Zero GST warehouse licensee who stores listed commodities must:

  • Get an approval from the Singapore Customs in writing for storing the listed commodities.
  • Get ZGS Type II licence as well as the "Intermediate" band as per the TradeFIRST framework.
  • Get, retain, & update details related to identification of individual(s) who have control over the goods which are listed and the individuals(s) who have beneficial ownership over the listed commodities. The details which are recorded have to be submitted to Singapore Customs if they request for it.
  • Execute screening and retain/update the screening details of clients who place their commodities in the warehouse, individual(s) who have control over the listed commodities & individual(s) who have beneficial ownership over the listed commodities. The recorded information should be given to Singapore Customs if requested.

What are Your Key Responsibilities as a Zero-GST Warehouse Scheme Member?

You will be accountable to the Singapore Customs
  • You will be responsible for commodities which are stored within the licenced premises. You will also be liable to make GST payment on commodities unaccounted for.
  • Declare concerned Customs permits via TradeNet for transporting every commodity inside and outside the licenced premises, and comply with the required permit conditions.
  • You will be responsible for reporting any kind of discrepancy you observe within the licenced premises. This needs to be reported within the following working day to Singapore Customs.
  • You will have to render support to Singapore Customs, inclusive of but not restricted to system access and manpower for any periodic audit, investigation, supervision operation, and stock check that needs to be performed by them.
  • Comply with GST-related general regulations, the GST Act, and the terms and conditions with respect to licensing.
You will be accountable to other proficient authorities
  • Get the required approvals via the concerned competent authorities.

You will be responsible for taking proper security measures within the authorised premises

  • You will need to see to that the licenced premises has enough security measures.
  • You will need to ensure that every entrance & exit point is safe and secure when there is no commodities being moved within the licenced premises.
  • Get an early approval from Singapore Customs in relation to any structural change you intend to make to the licenced premises.
Inventory control
  • Make sure inventory records & supporting documents are recorded & updated properly.

What are the License Types Under This Scheme?

There are 3 kinds of licences and each licence caters to various needs of organisations:

  • Zero-GST Warehouse Type I
  • Zero-GST Warehouse Type II
  • Zero-GST Warehouse Type III

The facilitation level rendered and a company’s standard of internal controls/record-keeping criteria will increase in the order of Type I, Type II, and Type III.

Both Type I as well as the Type II licensees will have to be eligible for the “Intermediate” and “Standard” bands based on the TradeFIRST framework. On the other hand, a Type III licensee will have to be eligible for the “Premium” and “Enhanced” bands.

What About the Licence Fee?

Soon after the license issuance, you will be liable to pay a yearly licence fee. It will be determined using the average value of the stored commodities in an authorised premises.

Fee Stock Value (Average)
S$1,000 ?S$1 million
S$2,500 Above S$1 million and below S$5 million
S$4,000 ?S$5 million

Other Schemes Available

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